Plans are taking shape for a West Coast wind port that will serve as California’s first hub for offshore wind installations.
Crowley, based in Jacksonville, Fla., has signed an agreement with the Port of Humboldt Bay to exclusively negotiate the role of developer and operator of the Northern California terminal.
Through Crowley’s Wind Services group, the company will enter into lease negotiations with the port and serve as the developer of the Humboldt Bay Offshore Wind Heavy Lift Marine Terminal, which will be located in Samoa, Humboldt County.. The terminal will support the lessee in the manufacture, installation and operation of floating offshore wind platforms, the use of large heavy cargo vessels and the provision of crewing and marshalling services in Pacific Ocean waters.
The public-private partnership will support federal and state government goals to develop more U.S. offshore wind energy and follows the U.S. Department of the Interior’s announcement this month that the waters off the coast of Humboldt Bay will be part of the first-ever offshore wind farm. US West Coast lease sale planned for December.
“Clean, renewable energy for Californians has taken a step forward thanks to our partnership with Humboldt Bay Port officials. Crowley looks forward to working with the Humboldt Bay Harbor Recreation and Conservation District to formalize the lease and development plan,” said Bob Karl, Senior Vice President and General Manager of Wind Services. “Through our cooperation, we can achieve our shared commitment to sustainable development that gives the state and the nation a new source of energy that respects the environment and reduces greenhouse gas emissions.”
The state of California has set a goal of generating at least 5 GW of offshore wind power by 2030. Just the windy areas of the Humboldt Sea itself they are designed to provide 1.6 GW of energy, capable of powering up to 1.6 million homes. The federal lease auction will also include the Morro Bay area to the south, which offers 3 GW of projected energy.
The Port of Humboldt Bay developed a conceptual master plan for the site thanks to a grant from the Humboldt County Headwaters Fund in 2021. This led to a $10.45 million grant from the California Energy Commission to conduct engineering studies, preliminary design and preliminary preparation. – authorization of activities. The port expects to complete permitting and engineering in mid-2024.
The new agreement with Crowley focuses on the 98-acre Phase I, with the option to expand to adjacent land in subsequent phases.
“This is a historic and transformative moment in the history of Humboldt County and the state of California,” said Humboldt Bay Port Board President Greg Dale. “Led by Crowley’s support and expertise, the Port of Humboldt Bay is now an international leader in the transition to renewable energy. The port will play a key role not only in the Humboldt and Morro Bay Call Areas, but in all future wind regions on the US West Coast.
“Over the next several years, this project will generate high-skilled manufacturing and engineering jobs, investment and clean energy that will extend generations into the future. And this project is just the beginning for Humboldt Bay, with the potential for additional complementary projects in other underutilized locations throughout the bay.”
Humboldt Bay will mark Crowley’s second dedicated U.S. wind service terminal project, following a project in Salem, Massachusetts, which is currently in the design and engineering phase. For this project, Crowley recently received a $33.8 million Port Infrastructure Development Program grant from the Maritime Administration to support site redevelopment.